Chefs, restaurateurs and various restaurant groups have sent out pleas for the government to provide financial help to restaurants in light of the coronavirus pandemic. But a grassroots campaign is a surprise move from the largest association representing the U.S. restaurant industry, the National Restaurant Association. The association is more accustomed to directly working with government officials, not petitioning operators, employees and the public to push lawmakers to support restaurants. But these are unusual times. And the campaign is making an impact.
A spokesperson from the association said the campaign went live yesterday. In the first eight hours, the campaign helped people across the country send 75,000 emails to their home state representatives and senators. Visitors to the site are directed to send a form letter to their member of congress in support of the National Restaurant Association restaurant recovery plan.
The plan will provide:
• direct relief from a new restaurant recovery fund
• community grants for disaster relief assistance
• guaranteed loans and business interruption insurance
• lost revenue coverage from the government
• expand access to efficient and affordable loans
• special disaster unemployment assistance for workers
• tax breaks to help your cash flow
• a fix to the QIP tax glitch
• and more
The spokesperson said that support for this campaign was coming from across the country. Describing it as: “Unprecedented and amazing support for restaurants in these turbulent times.”
Other grassroots campaigns pushing the government to help restaurants have sprung up across the country, many with the hashtag #toosmalltofail
Today a group of Chicago restaurateurs organized a call on social media for an aid package to assist restaurants.
“Covid-19 has hit the hospitality industry hard. Millions of workers displaced,” the group wrote in a news release. “To save independent businesses, we need a bailout. We need relief for our workers and our businesses. Without it, we will fail. Legislation is in the works, but it might not help us. Let’s make sure the restaurant industry is heard, helped, and represented!”
Chef David Chang has been outspoken about the need for financial help for restaurants.
Prominent restaurateur Danny Meyer, who had to lay off the staff at his restaurant group, Union Square Hospitality, earlier this week, called for the government to provide fiscal leadership.
Contact Gloria Dawson at [email protected]
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